Putin’s System 2037 - with or without Putin?
Overall, it seems that if the constitutional amendments go through and no other emergency happens, Putin will have secured his regime with an institutional system which does not allow for effective opposition, does not provoke conflict among the elites, and even if the old age would not allow him to continue fulfilling the role of president, his informal influence would remain. In this case, a successor from the same party would also have to follow mostly in his footsteps. One of the only potential pitfalls that cannot be addressed efficiently enough by the conservative United Russia party and Putin is the alienation of the new middle-class generation, particularly the educated and open-minded youth, but it is not clear when and if they could become a large enough group on the background of the largely backward and rural population, which is still in favor of the perceived stability and conservative values that Putin’s regime represent. In addition, the historical preference for a strong leader, imperialistic and exceptionalist tendencies indicate that in the long term, Putin’s well-established institutional design, especially with the new reforms, are not significantly threatened. History shows that Putin has been able to creatively avoid these popularity slumps and crises, and there is no reason to suggest that this time will be different. …
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